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Eight weeks ago I had my first hand surgery and six weeks post surgery I practically made this pesto pasta salad myself. It was a simple and yet significant task, as it was like getting back up on the horse that threw me. I’ve often times told family and friends over the past few weeks that while I know I was lucky not to have injured my dominant hand (AKA my right hand), I am in no way a one-handed individual. I have learned to adapt to my situation at an exhausting pace – and my milestones have included saying things like, “I can put my hair in a pony tail!”

No gift of accomplishment goes unnoticed. I am appreciative of each and every detail that puts me closer to my former life. The meals and visits that friends have shared with me reminds me that in the simple things we can sometimes find the greatest rewards. For me a meal doesn’t have to be gourmet. Yes I LOVE good food but I also indulge in foods that I consider ‘guilty pleasures’. I am not a culinary saint by any means. What I love about meals is spending time around the table with my family and friends. For now, I am sticking to the simple things in life.

Pesto Pasta Salad


1 (12 oz) box rotini pasta

1 (8 oz) package sliced portobello mushrooms, diced

1 cup peas, shelled

1 (8 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup pesto

Note: I typically make pesto in large batches and freeze it in ice cube trays to add to my soups or use in pasta dishes.


Cook pasta according to package directions, careful not to over cook, as pasta is best slightly undercooked. When cooked, drain, lightly toss with a sprinkling of olive oil and set aside. In a small pan, cook mushrooms in butter and olive oil for 3-5 minutes, add in peas and cool for another 2-3 minutes. In a large bowl mix pasta with pesto, then add mushrooms, peas, chickpeas, and feta. Once all ingredients are well combined, refrigerate until ready to use. Stir before serving.